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Question Of The Day: What Is Your Best “Busted By Your Parents” Story?


Question Of The Day: What Is Your Best “Busted By Your Parents” Story?

There is no feeling like standing before Mom and Dad knowing that you’re in deep enough that you can swim, and very, very few things on this planet will get you in front of Mr. Judge and Mrs. Jury faster than being a teen with access to a car. Ask me how I know. Compared to the calm, somewhat rational man I have become, growing up I was a handful, but only when it came to anything mechanical. We’re talking about a kid who got his first car at 12 years old and had access to tons of rides throughout the years. Many stories live in my past: there’s the one where I was cooking the tires off my ’77 Impala when my mother came up the road and into the driveway, another where I was doing donuts in an open area next to our house in a demo derby Pontiac, and of course there was the time I got pulled over in front of my grandfather’s house. But seeing the picture of the GP doing donuts this morning brings back memories of the end-all-be-all of my stories: my father’s ’77 Grand Prix.

I had moved in with my father and stepmother in the winter of 2000. She drove a Ford Escort wagon at the time, but Dad had the Grand Prix. It was rougher than the ’78 Chrysler I was driving at the time by a long shot. Rust patches, parts missing…I wish I had a picture of that beast. This thing was that nearly rust red color that they had, it sat on equally fragged looking Pontiac Rally wheels on BFG T/A’s and due to the lack of exhaust on the 400, it sounded like it wanted to fight anything. It was a killer beater, and despite appearances, ran it’s ass off when caned. It was also his daily driver…while he wasn’t exactly a gear head by any stretch of the imagination, he had enough knowledge to be good and liked older vehicles. The Grand Prix was the closest he came to reliving his teenage car, a ’68 or ’69 GTO he always mentioned.

That January the front end fell off of my LeBaron quite literally. After living with the abuse of my daily driving around Colorado Springs and the long trip out to Southern Illinois that winter, the passenger side of the front suspension had been pushed to the limits of wear and tear and on a rural highway one damn cold night, fell apart, putting the frame on the ground, the car on the side of the road, and me hitchhiking for the first and only time in my life. We got my car towed home and realized that I’d have to replace a ton of crap. Since Dad was ride-sharing to his job as a prison guard, I could use the Pontiac until we got the Chrysler back together.

Up until that point, the biggest vehicle I’d ever driven was the 1973 Chevelle that I had ended up owning years later. And while the Chevelle was a big car, it felt manageable. Somehow, the Grand Prix felt even bigger. I remember that morning…woke up, got ready for school, went outside to start the car and got it thawed out, and once it was warmed up, sat down in the Bordello Red bucket seat, slammed the door while pulling up to make sure the latch caught, pressed the surprisingly firm brake pedal and moved the floor shifter into drive…and the car bit the ground like it was ready to go. Compared with the LeBaron’s lazy-assed 318 and rear gears that were probably 2.2 or weaker, the Grand Prix felt absolutely bad-ass and ready to play. Restraint lasted the morning. On the way to school the car sounded competent and impatient. At lunch, wound up on a ton of Surge soda and a desire for food not from the cafeteria, I ran out to the Pontiac, fired it up, and headed out.

The road leading out towards where the food was had a quarter-mile straight that lead into a Z-shaped speed break, then another eighth-mile straight until it dumped out on a county highway. With forty-five minutes for a lunch break, time was of the essence. I launched out of the parking lot hauling ass, slowed down for the left-hand kink, but at the right-hand kink the sun hadn’t shone yet, so there was a little bit of frost on the asphalt…enough that when I put my foot down the Pontiac spun and I ended up in the grass field between the road and a cornfield. Which would’ve been plenty bad enough, except I saw the car that followed me out of school: A silver Honda with one hubcap missing. The office secretary, a no-nonsense lady who knew the family. She had seen the whole thing. Oh, shit. I didn’t even try to rinse off the grass. I knew it was pointless. I got home and my stepmother was sitting at the table with a smile that simply said, “You’re dead” and had me hand over the keys. My father got home at ten at night. Unbeknownst to them I had been sipping from a hidden stash of Maker’s Mark I had, trying to calm down while preparing to offer up mea culpa. My father was an intimidating man, even more so when he had his uniform on, so as I walked down the stairs even the alcohol failed me. He was quiet…way too quiet…and was just staring at me. Finally, he spoke: “Never again.” And that’s all I needed.

So today, let’s hear it: what’s the best story that ends up with you dreading heading home?


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16 thoughts on “Question Of The Day: What Is Your Best “Busted By Your Parents” Story?

  1. joebogey

    Well let’s see, I was 17, still in school and only had a Jr license which meant I could drive to school and work only. Well after a Friday night shift I decide to run around with my friends, some frivolity (and possibly felonies) ensued. At one point of the night I found myself traversing a median forwards, backwards, and sideways (both left and right).

    My Dad took notice of everything. Everything. Saturday morning during breakfast he asked how I got grass stuck between the tire bead and wheel. I said “I don’t know, I did have to park in some tall grass last night maybe it got stuck in there.” The response of “Hmm, maybe you need to stay our of that grass.” was all that needed to be said.

  2. MattyLang

    I had a 88 Subaru GL for my first car that I abused daily. My folks went on a cruise and me and my best friend went out for some impromptu rally driving. I ended up breaking the exhaust off up near the motor. My grandfather was an excellent welder. I told him I backed out of a driveway and broke the exhaust. As he put the car up on the lift and began heaving chunks of grass and mud from the undercarriage he just smiled and said “driveway huh?…he never said a word to my folks. Good Man!

  3. Larry J Thornton

    Parents had to co-sign for my new ’66 Chevelle. Yes, I paid for everything but they set restrictions on what car would be. “No bucket seats, no big engine, no loud pipes, no nothing”. At least settled for Malibu/327/3-speed/single exhaust/black bench seats.

    A year later (when warranty ran out) a new ’67 Muncie went in. “Why is stick shift on floor?”, “Uh, the column shift broke and dealer said it was better on floor”.

    Then duals with headers and short pipes. “Why is this so loud?”. “Uh, the muffler’s got a hole in it”.

    Then “30-30” cam. “Why does this thing sound like a sewing machine?”. “Uh, the motor needs oil”.

    I think, after many more mods, me spending an exorbitant amount of $ on tires, me moving out by that time, they might have gotten the point. Even when dying, I was in hospital room with Mom, she told Dr that I was ALWAYS doing something to my cars.

    1. Matt Cramer

      No bucket seats? I would have thought they’d be more concerned over the sort of trouble a teenage boy could get into with a bench seat. 🙂

  4. Chanceclouse

    there are actually two in recent history, this year as a junior we get the second to front row of parking, well, an underclassmen parked in my spot. so i hooked up to it with my marquis and tried to drag the thing, ended up roasting the tires off of my car. i got in so much trouble for that

  5. ANGRYJOE

    Never got caught doing stupid stuff….But, I really valued my car and my license so I really was a bit of a goody-goody….Not o say I NEVER did anything stupid….just not as often as other kids I knew…..

  6. Patrick U

    I think my worst was dad seeing me driving home with track numbers written on the windows of my old 65 F-100 in high school. He pulled the coil wire off of it to “ground me from it”. What made the situation even worse was taking the coil wire off his Bronco one night so I could go to a car show…

  7. Bob

    My parents had a 73 Tran Am. I was allowed to drive it till one of my dads friends saw me doing a burn out in it. I was never allowed to drive that car alone again.

  8. cyclone03

    The parallel tire marks from our drive way (we lived at the end of a Cul-de-Sac) past 4 houses were visible for 2 years. I blamed Jimmy,my best friend , Dad knew better. Jimmy had a V8 Vega,I a 67 Mustang with a locker ,Jim a one wheel peeler.

    The best part, to prove his point dad grabbed my keys and layed down the proof. 5 houses! I got blamed for that too because Dad did it at 5:30 am on the way to work and the neighbors got to corner me later in the day.

  9. T MURPHY

    MAY 6TH 1975 IN OMAHA NE I WAS A JR IN HIGH SCHOOL. MY DAD LET ME DRIVE MY MOMS 1973 BARRACUDA TO SCHOOL. WE PUT 75 MILES ON IT BEFORE 3;00 I RESET THE TRIP OD BUT DAD RECORDED THE MILES.WHEN HE WAS IN THE MIDDLE OF GIVEING ME HELL WHEN
    TORNADO SIRENS WENT OFF.IT WAS A VERY BAD DAY FOR OMAHA.
    A WEEK HAD PASS WHEN HE REMEMBERED BUT JUST LAUGHED IT OFF.SOME HOW IT WAS NOT THAT IMPORTANT.

  10. 440 6Pac

    I was 17 and tore the clutch out of my 55 Plymouth. The parts store didn’t have everything I needed but told me they’d have them in by Saturday. They didn’t get the flywheel in so I couldn’t fix my car.
    Momma said I could use her car to go to town that night. I ran all over the county and used up almost a tank of gas. When it was time to go home I didn’t have money to get gas but knew better than park the car in the shed without gas.
    The Thermo King plant in town had a gas pump that stayed on all night because trucks were in and out of there all night and one might need gas. When any of us youngins needed gas and didn’t have money we’d go over and help ourselves to a tank full.
    Another boy and me went over to Thermo King and he pumped the gas while I sat in the car with the motor running in case someone came around. I dropped him off and went home.The next morning my parents left to go to church and the car wouldn’t start. The next day Daddy called the dealer and told them to come and get the car since it was still under warranty.
    They got the car and took it to the shop. That afternoon they called and told Daddy the car was ready and it would be $20 for labor and $10 for the tow. Daddy asked why there was a labor charge when the car was still under warranty. They told him that the warranty did cover diesel in the gas tank.
    Daddy didn’t believe a word of what I told him about how i got diesel into Momma’s new car with only 800 miles on it.

  11. Bryan

    Got a lot of stories about getting busted by my parents, but the thing that really sticks out to me in this article is how anyone would consider a 77 Grand Prix as fast.

  12. DDP

    How fitting you used a Pontiac for the story picture. my Mom had a ’65 Pontiac Bonville, Yep four door tuna boat with a 421 tri-power. I would joke with people if I couldn’t beat you with my Nova, I’d go home and get my Mom’s car. So one Saturday night we took Moms car to south Eubank and got laughed at until we did some burn outs and the dual exhaust roared. But some noticed what looked like sparks coming from the tires, I forgot Dad had summer tires and winter tires, the winter tires had studs! We tore most of the studs out of “winter” tires and dented the inside of the rear fenders. Yes I had to tell why the studs were gone and buy some new winter tires for the Bonville.

  13. Dan Sallia

    I was 14 and riding toschool with a buddy in his 52 Desoto with 276 Hemi, four barrel, 2 speed auto. I told him my moms Studebaker Lark wagon could beat his car. Saturday morning my brother and I pushed her Lark down the street fired it up and went to go race the Desoto. I won but when I puled up to the house my dad’s car was gone. Mom was waiting at the door and told me to go wait in my room for dad. When dd walked in he asked “did you win”? I told him I did. He told me good maybe they will stop bragging about their Mopars. He told he had two things to say to me. One, next time tell me and I’ll ride with you just in case. Second, he told me to wait in my rood for a couple of hours so mom thinks I punished you. Dad and still laugh about that one and it happened in 1966. I later got caught racing the Lark at San Fernando Raceway and you can read about it at Hot Rod Magazine online.

  14. rodzilla

    17 years old, borrowed Dad’s car, a rare thing, he was not in favor of driving just to drive. 10 or 15 minutes later, I came around a corner, and Dad was standing there, motioning me to stop. His face told me it was not going to turn out well. Turns out that a neighbor in our small town had phoned our house, telling him I had been spinning the tires and fishtailing. I was told to leave the car there, and walk home. After the ensuing lecture, I was informed that it would be a wasted effort to ask to borrow his car again. Not a big deal, I purchased my own vehicle soon after.

  15. Austin

    While 17 and in my senior year of High School I was taking an after school welding class that required us to leave our vehicles at the school. Once we returned around 6:30 or so a friends Cherokee and my ’97 Silverado that i just put a locker in were digging holes in the tar. A minute or so after leaving the parking lot my phone rings telling me the school is swarming with cops. Come to find out the next day there was a cop seminar in the gym. No tickets or nothing… on that night!

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